On vacation, there are two types of crazy people who want adventure when they travel! They are the adventurers, the thrill-seekers, the modern-day freebooters who demand an adrenaline rush that can only be found at dizzying heights or breakneck speeds.
Unlike others, these freebooters actively seek adventure in places and in ways that most of us will never understand. For this particular group of adventurous travelers, the world is a big playground with all the attractions they need to push their nature’s quest for experience to its limits. If you know someone like that, we’ve put together a list of the most extreme adventures and unique experiences, all of which make unforgettable gifts to keep the adrenaline flowing in their veins and emotions on the razor’s edge.
Ice diving in France
Calling this experience mind-blowing is not just an overused cliché, but a fact. Diving under the ice of Lake Tignes, France, where sequences from the film The Big Blue are set, is the ultimate adventure gift for anyone who plays the game of life according to different rules. Located near the village of Tignes, in the Vanoise National Park, Tignes’ glacier-fed lake is the site of a unique and unforgettable adventure. You will live a unique and fascinating experience there, in an unparalleled aquatic landscape. It may not be the warmest of adventure experiences, but having the opportunity to accomplish something that few others have the chance to do is reward enough. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the moment for your friends and family to share this unique and truly memorable experience.
Swimming in the Jellyfish Lake in Palau
Remember the jellyfish scene in « Finding Nemo »? That’s pretty much exactly what the jellyfish lake in Palau looks like. Located on Eil Malk Island, this marine lake is home to millions of jellyfish that slowly migrate through the water every day, following the sun’s course. Tourists can get a pass to visit the island and snorkel among the golden jellies and moon jellies. Although these scary looking creatures are harmless, be careful not to dive too deep into the pool – the lower level contains dangerous amounts of hydrogen sulfide, which can be deadly.
Visit the Villarrica volcano in Chile.
The Villarrica volcano, in the south of Chile, is a must-see destination for the craziest of daredevils. During the summer, thousands of tourists try to reach the top of the volcano (one of the few in the world with an active lava lake) on guided tours. In winter, even more, courageous groups climb the glacial slopes avoiding crevasses and avalanches. If none of these seasonal options suit you, there is always one ultimate act of courage: bungee jumping from a helicopter just above the volcano’s bubbling crater. Is there anything better for your next relaxing vacation?
Itinerary on the Northern Yungas Road in Bolivia
The path from La Paz to Coroico, Bolivia, is treacherous. The Northern Yungas Road crosses the Amazonian forest at the height of more than 15,000 feet. When you consider this frightening altitude – not to mention the single 12-foot wide lane, the lack of guardrails, and the limited visibility due to rain and fog – it is easy to understand why this 50-mile stretch of highway has earned the nickname « The Road of Death. » While 200 to 300 drivers died each year, the North Yungas Highway has become a destination for adventurous mountain bikers rather than a traffic lane.
Surfing the waves at Teanupoo in Tahiti
Surfing is a dangerous sport in itself, but the risk increases exponentially when the famous Teahupoo wave in Tahiti becomes a factor. This wave’s swell can reach up to 21 feet high, making it a popular destination for professional (and daring) surfers. Five deaths have been recorded at Teahupoo since 2000, mainly due to a sharp coral reef located only 20 inches below the water surface.
Hiking on Mt Hua in Huayin, China
The peaks of Mount Hua-ou Huashan, located about 75 miles east of Xi’an in northwest China, are home to a variety of magnificent temples and some of the best sunrise views you can imagine. To get there, cross 12-inch wide planks while clinging to metal chains thousands of feet above the ground. Sound fun? Just note that many « bridge » points are broken or missing, and hundreds of people have died trying to reach the picturesque peaks over the years. So don’t look down?